Highlights from The Journal: News of the COGs

The latest (June-July 2007) edition of The Journal: News of the Churches of God is now out.

Here are some of the highlights.

An article by CGI’s Ian Boyne states:

KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Church of God,

International (CGI) in Jamaica continues to shatter its own attendance records, recording on Pentecost, May 27, 2007, its highest-ever holy-day observance in Kingston of 300, moving up from the Unleavened Bread figure of 277…

CGI apparently has the strongest presence of any COG in Jamaica (LCG and UCG are probably second and third).  But other than Jamaica, CGI has little presence in other nations.  More on them can be found in the article Teachings of the Church of God, International.

 Legacy Institutes’ Leon Sexton wrote:

CHIANG MAI, Thailand—I have been asked quite often about the political situation in Thailand because of the military takeover in September 2006 and how this affects the country in general and our Legacy Institute project in particular.

I thought I should write THE JOURNAL a report to clarify the situation from my personal perspective to inform its readers, since I have lived and worked in Thailand for more than 10 years now…

Armed pro-Taksin cohorts were heading to Bangkok to stop the anti-Taksin protesters. Thailand was on a collision course for civil war. The army stepped in to stop the impending bloodshed.

It should be noted that, to the army’s credit, not one person was shot during the coup. In fact, families and children came out of their homes to welcome the soldiers with flowers and food. The situation took on what was almost a carnival atmosphere…

As far as our Legacy project is concerned, we were in no danger and are not in any danger today.

It is good that people were not shot in the coup.  Legacy Institute, the Living Church of God, and other COG groups have people in Thailand.

An article titled SDA author claims Gregorian University officials are libeling him, wants an apology by Dixon Cartwright stated:

Aprominent Sabbatarian Christian says he

has suffered verbal attacks on his integrity in the form of false accusations from officials at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

Samuele Bacchiocchi, a retired professor at Andrews University, a school in Berrien Springs, Mich., sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is known to many Church of God members as a scholarly defender of the Sabbath and its observance, especially in his 1977 book From Sabbath to Sunday.

The attacks on his character have been devastating, Dr. Bacchiocchi reports, especially statements from Barbara Bergami, general secretary of the university where Dr. Bacchiocchi completed work on his doctorate in 1975.

Dr. Bacchiocchi emailed me from Italy last week, perhaps he will be able to meet with some at the Vatican about these matters.  I have already read some of his explanations of what has happened to him.

On the back page of The Journal was the following:

UCG move hits a snag

MILFORD, Ohio—In other building news from the United Church of God, the planned transfer of church headquarters from a Cincinnati suburb to the North Texas town of Denton has apparently hit a snag.

Word had gotten around on Internet forums that the proposed building site was close to a Safety Kleen, Inc., plant, which disposes of and recycles sometimes hazardous industrial wastes, and near the residences of convicted pedophiles.

The church says there is no truth to the pedophile rumor and the plant is not a theat to the church’s potential property. Still, because some in the church are squeamish about the location, the search is on for property elsewhere in North Texas and the Dallas–Fort Worth area.

The reason I have not covered the above before is that I agree with UCG on this and see no reason for this to be a news item, unless UCG leadership was disingenuous on this, and I have no reason at this time to feel that they were.

For more from The Journal, here is a link to the PDF Front and Back Page of The Journal.

Other news items covered in The Journal included the fact that COG Big Sandy elected its board, my article advising the Orthodox to reject Roman Catholic unity, an article by the returning “guest” Brian Knowles essentially against me, and a lot of information on Ken Westby’s “One God-Seminar” (Ken Westby’s views are to some degree dealt with in the articles Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning and Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church?).

I will probably post my article on why the Orthodox should reject Roman Catholic unity later at this news page.   

The fact that I pointed out how Brian Knowles’ closeness to ACD appeared to me set off his article.  To me, what Brian Knowles has been publicly doing promotes ACD and hence some version of unitarianism–he does not wish to see it that way.   His rebuttal article has also not changed my public view that I was shocked that CG7 Denver recently ran one of his articles, but that is up to CG7.  

Although it was nice that, in The Journal article, Brian Knowles made a statement suggesting that he is probably not unitarian (and I updated my five sentence article Brian Knowles in CG7’s Bible Advocate to include his statement), I remain firm in my belief that if he is in the COG that he should not associate the way he does with Ken Westby’s ACD.  

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